Thanks to a reader for tipping me off about the press coverage of WXYZ’s radio’s airing of a 90-second tape segment on May 16, 1979. WXYZ proposed broadcasting the tape of a call made to Dr. Bruce Danto on April 10, 1977 from a man claiming to know who the OCCK was. Former task force commander Robert Robertson provided the station with the tape. It was played for the public on Dr. Sonya Friedman’s radio show more than two years after the last abduction and murder in the OCCK crime spree. Friedman warned listeners to call only with documented leads and said “Don’t call in with your fantasies.” No leads came from airing this tape. Wonder if it would have helped in 1977–or would that have generated “too many useless leads?”
Friedman was quoted as saying she and Robertson were hoping “to bring the case to a state of rest. Even if the person is dead, we should know or there will never be a psychological closure to this thing.”
Yesterday, WJR radio legend Dick Haefner announced his retirement after 51 years in radio news. https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/local/2020/12/07/detroit-radio-legend-and-wjr-news-director-dick-haefner-announces-his-retirement-after-51-year-career/. That is a remarkable run.
The article describes how Haefner “broke one of the most tragic and long-running mysteries in local history. He first reported the existence of “The Oakland County Child Killer” the day after Christmas 1976, following the murder of a Royal Oak girl.” Said Haefner: “I could never have imagined we would be doing stories about this 44 years later. The stories haven’t changed that much, except for the duration of time.”